Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ordinary Citizens Do Not Have Power?

Saturday's Chicago Sun Times carries an op-ed piece written by Mike Gecan of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF):,CST-EDT-REF28b.article

Mike Gecan of the IAF implies that ordinary citizens do not have political power. He credits the coalition building team United Power for (Action) & Justice as the key to that. Read Mike's op-ed piece.

Read also IAF Mission Statement:

"The IAF is non-ideological and strictly non-partisan, but proudly, publicly, and persistently political. The IAF builds a political base within society's rich and complex third sector - the sector of voluntary institutions that includes religious congregations, labor locals, homeowner groups, recovery groups, parents associations, settlement houses, immigrant societies, schools, seminaries, orders of men and women religious, and others. And then the leaders use that base to compete at times, to confront at times, and to cooperate at times with leaders in the public and private sectors

The IAF develops organizations that use power - organized people and organized money - in effective ways. The secret to the IAF's success lies in its commitment to identify, recruit, train, and develop leaders in every corner of every community where IAF works. The IAF is indeed a radical organization in this specific sense: it has a radical belief in the potential of the vast majority of people to grow and develop as leaders, to be full members of the body politic, to speak and act with others on their own behalf. And IAF does indeed use a radical tactic: the face-to-face, one-to-one individual meeting whose purpose is to initiate a public relationship and to re-knit the frayed social fabric.

The living reality of the IAF is overwhelmingly present in the 57 IAF affiliates functioning in 21 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Germany

Regional gatherings of those local groups - IAF East in the northeast corridor and Southwest IAF in the American southwest - also meet, plan, and take action "

Now, the alphabet soup gets more heady. United Power for (Action) & Justice has its website down and under construction but there was a link to the event here in Illinois -

The Lakeview Action Coalition - We have the IAF, UPAJ, and LAC - all using the very same goals and objectives as this link : The goals and objectives are identical are identical to MWG

Last night, I was with about 2,000 people, all ordinary people, except for a few extrardinarily good looking women ( Hey I'm a widower - Iain't dead.), participating in the political process by raising money for a Democratic candidate. Those People are empowered with the right to vote and to exercise their God given and Constitutionally protected Right to give voice to their political opinions. Most of them seemed pretty smart and talented - it was a real coalition of workers: lawyers, teachers, tradesmen, artists ( BS and otherwise), journalists, academics, reformers, and old-timey cigar chompers. They put together a powerful statement of faith in the American political process. There are many 'coalition building fronts ' with Peoples and Workers and Mobilized and Cadres in their names. God love 'em. Ain't it great that our system of government -with its crooks and phonies and dummies popping up like whack-a-moles - makes room and even sets up microphones for alphabet soup politicos?

I do not know if telling people that they are 'powerless ordinary' folks is the way to get them to mobilize, as Mike Gecan of IAF and all the other acronyms he's fronting, but a local Democratic candidate for office sure had the folks mobilized. Tom Dart told them that they were powerful and they responded.


Phil Stepanic,  12:42 AM  

I like Tom Dart. He is talented, articulate and a gentleman.

I hope, however, that he can grow beyond his predecessor and his political patrons.

The connections of Skinny Sheehan to the disgusting Duff clan. (the real political brains and boss)
The persistent cronyism and racism at the Sheriffs office.
Specific problems like 103rd (the lot) and no shows, loafing, cars and lack of priority.

The more global problems include:
1) Looking at drugs as a medical (and in reality spiritual) and not just legal/criminal problem and expanding treatment and different options for non violent offenders.
2) Treating the Sheriff's as real law enforcement professionals perhaps including a Federal government like Hatch act and excluding them from political work.
3) Police ROTC to get college degrees.
4) Use of former military like some of the former SORT team.
5) Modernization.
6) Elimination of top heavy positions.

Dart has his job cut out for him, he is up for the task but may anger some powerful soon to be former friends.

Billy,  10:01 AM  

The Sherrif's office is top heavy in upper management. A bunch of do nothing white collar positions with guys with no law enforcement experience, almost all Irish, mostly South Side.
2 are judges now
great high level patronage jobs

Fulton Sheen,  7:47 PM  

Tom Dart was pro life and flipped.
He became unbelievably pro-gay.
He is in his heart pro-life and recognizes the sanctity of the family and marriage.
But nonetheless he has betrayed his Catholicism.

Pat Hickey 7:58 AM  

Ah, The Pro-Life gunslingers, welcome back.

Bishop, TV could use your easy grace, wit and charm. Best wishes for the Canonization process.

Sheen fan,  11:17 AM  

Hickey your wit and cleverness are always evident. The 19th ward gunslingers have real guns that I am more concerned about rather than the pro-lifers, and I have met more than a few 19th ward pro-lifers.
HOWEVER, you do not engage the issue here but distract from it and use some possible ad hominems (assuming pro-life is a pejorative)

Are these issues correct?
Did Tom Dart flip flop?

Regardless of the correctness of these issues, is Tom Dart hypocritical for changing his position(s). He became more liberal the longer he was in the House and the more African American his District became.
He has told friends (at least allegedly) of mine that he is still pro-life and recognizes the illegitimacy of gay marriage but has to do these things for the political support and recognition of the National Democrats and even state and local money and power brokers--30 silver coins?
To gain Democratic power--the once powerful ethnic Catholic Dems have to give up core beliefs because of fundraising and statewide and national support. What would it profit Tom Dart to become the Sheriff (or the Attorney General or the Comptroller--both of which he also coveted) and to lose his soul? An older friend of mine swears that Tom Dart, his brother (we could do more on that topic), and his father (the lobbyist for the better punch card voting system)--all go to Daily Mass downtown--some pro-lifers would argue that the priest should refuse to give communion to the pro-abortion (now not previously) Tom Dart. But alas, we are out of the era of Fulton Sheen, kissing the hands of priests--the hands that transform the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, the berettas, conversions, Sports, Knights of Columbus, Football, Bars, and all the trappings that you and Pat Buchanana long for but may be far gone.

What does it say (regardless of ultimate objective truth or reality) about Tom Dart's intellectual honesty, logical consistency, and moral integrity--if he takes public positions of things he does not believe in or if he flip flops on issues without explaining why?

Inquiring mines want to know....

May Our Lady of Knock intercede for you Mr. Hickey.

Pat Hickey 11:25 AM  

Our Lady of Knock can't stand me - told me so; can't say as I blame her.

God Bless, you my friend and your good work! On the level.

Emiliano Z,  11:58 PM  

May Our Lady of Guadalupe claim you as her adopted son as the Queen of Americas. I don't know Knock.

Repose of all the deserters of the Masonic US Army in the desecration of Catholic churches and killing of priests and innocents (and I am a Marine --never former--) the San Patricios--I hope you give us such friendship.

St. Patrick pray for us.
Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe ruega por nosotros.

Pat Hickey 5:51 AM  

E Z-

Tu es un hombre muy simpatico - Que Hombre.

Yo Soy Un Muchaho Caqbrone y Irlandese!

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